Welcome Back Kevin Butler....

Yeah I wasn't completely aware he "left" either, but apparently he's back. Come to think of it though, Butler's been MIA since the whole hacking fiasco so it's good to see him back in action, because he's easily the most awesome thing Sony has ever come up with in terms of advertising.

Were you an early 3DS adopter? Well the sting of missing out on the sudden and massive price drop should be relieved a bit by the 10 Free NES games you get starting tomorrow. The full list has finally been revealed and as should be expected, it's  bit of  mixed bag, but with some genuine classics in there so nobody should really be complaining. Now if we could get a real date on the GBA titles not to mention be told what the last 5 are that'd be nice too.

Can Mass Effect continue without Commander Shepard? I guess we will find out, as Bioware has stated that while there will most likely be more titles set in the Mass Effect Universe, the third chapter wraps up Shepard's story and any new games would have a new protagonist. I'm sort of torn on this. It's good to not wear out a character, but on the other hand it's sort of like replacing any iconic character of a franchise, it feels weird. Plus it might be more personal for most, since each Shepard is unique to each person's decisions throughout the series, so it's someone that's grown with the player. But admittedly, assuming you beat Mass Effect 3 you just saved the whole goddamn universe, there's really nowhere to go but down with that character (although that could be something to explore as well). I guess we'll see if this decision pays off whenever the 4th Mass Effect title comes out.

That's really it for today, I should be back to a regular posting schedule so look for another post in the next day or two. In the meantime here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Hunger Games


Short Hiatus time again...

Things have been going crazy this week with a new job opportunity (while still working my current job so I still have money to do basic things like buy food. I've been running ragged the whole week and it might not stop until I officially start at the new job so this blog is going dark til then. Hopefully shouldn't be more than a couple weeks, no more than a month tops.


Games are too expensive. Except of course our games...

The price debate on games has pretty much been going on since the advent of cds. People thought hey, cds cost mere pennies to manufacture, surely games won't be nearly as expensive now, right? And while we didn't see the occasional $80-100 game like we had during the cartridge era, the average price of games stayed fairly steady, and for the most part actually climbed to the $60 price point most major console games are now.

Developers & publishers have for years told the very plausible line of rising development and marketing costs. Big games can cost as much as a small budget movie to make these days, and obviously to make that money back they have to sell lots of copies. However with console cycles lasting much longer and digital distribution becoming a bigger piece of the pie shouldn't prices be going down? Surprisingly several developers have actually come out and said $60 is too much for game. Is their answer to lower prices? Of course not, their answer is too make sure that you get your $60 worth out of game. And sure, there are some titles that can probably easily make their case.

Take Skyrim, the latest Elder Scrolls title hitting in a few months. The Elder Scrolls titles literally have hundreds of hours of gameplay to offer, so that's a no-brainer to argue for the price point. What about games that don't offer nearly that many hours? Most games offer high enough production values of course, but the average length is far shorter, taking 10-15 hours. How do those justify a similar price tag? Some tack on pointless multi-player, but many who buy those games buy them for one or the other, not really both. Why should we pay for both? I'm pretty excited about Uncharted 3, but I have no interest in the multi-player content. If I was offered the single-player mode by itself for cheaper, I would snatch that up in a heartbeat. Everybody seems to be sharing these kind of sentiments-that games should in general be cheaper, possibly offering different options. But nobody seems to be willing to actually take that step. Hopefully someone will break that price barrier soon, as I believe it would benefit everybody.

That's all for today, I should have my next post up in the the next couple of days. In the meantime, here's your BIG BANG CLIP OF THE WEEK:


10 awesomely nerdy music videos

This is most definitely not some kind of list of best nerdy music videos, because there's so many out there I'm bound to not even really know half of them. But when extreme Nerdery and music combine, often it's a beautiful, beautiful thing, so here are 10 I just really like either for the song itself or something to do with the video:

#10: Bruno Mars-The Lazy Song

Bruno Mars is decidedly not nerdy in the least, but Leonard Nimoy is of course one of the great geek icons and is doing  brilliant send up of himself. If it was just any old guy in video it wouldn't be anything special of course, but Spock flipping people off, buying porn mags and practicing the Vulcan greeting in the mirror are just things only us nerds & geeks would find so ridiculously entertaining.

#9: Goldfish-We Come Together

I really shouldn't even have to explain why this video is so awesome and amazing when one viewing will say it all for me. The great animation paying homage to the 8 & 16-bit glory days combined with nods to so many classic characters and memes that you see something you missed every new viewing makes this a mandatory viewing for any geek.

#8-Jonathon Coulton-Re: Your Brains

Zombies have been all the rage lately but Jonathon Coulton had an anthem ready for the living impaired long before they were popping up in everything from hit cable shows to Jane Austen. Long  a geek favorite, it actually didn't really have a music video  til recently, but what an awesome video it is.

#7-Midichlorian Rhapsody

 A parody of nerdy music favorite Bohemian Rhapsody, and a completely brilliant one at that.  The prequels are a disgrace of of course, but when it can result in stuff like this, it becomes a little harder to hate (as long as I don't have to actually watch them again at any rate).

#6-The Guild-Game On

I only wanted to put one Guild video up, and admittedly it was a little hard to choose between this and "Do You Want to Date My Avatar", but the homage/mocking of Bollywood-style musicals gives Game On a slight edge in my nerdy opinion. Also the fact that it's basically all bout getting someone pumped to play a video game is a level of nerdiness few songs could hope to achieve.

#5-College Humor-Run this Raid

There are plenty of WoW videos out there, but this one is probably the best and funniest without being insulting or just plain lame since it accurately describes both what's awesome about the world's biggest MMO and what is really frustrating about it as well.

#4-Tonight I'm Frakking You

The capper of this celebration of many things nerd is that Raj from Big Bang Theory is in it. I'm also told the girl in the Leia bikini is from Caprica but since that was a terrible show I have no idea. It is also a pretty solid parody of the rather douchey Enrique Iglesias song.

#3-Broken Record Films: Roll a D6

No list like this would be complete without  a D & D tribute and this is definitely one of the better ones out there. I haven't even played old school D & D in over a decade and this song makes me want to gather a crew in my basement and roll some dice.

#2-Sam Hart: Mario Kart Love Song

This is easily my personal fave because it's so original, simple and beautiful while managing to be touchingly funny as well. Sam Hart is simply incredibly talented (seriously check out his other songs) and really deserves to be much more than the youtube celebrity he is at the moment.

#1-Weird Al: White and Nerdy

You know this list isn't complete without at least one Weird Al video, and "White & Nerdy" is considered by many to be the closest thing to a nerd anthem. Yankovic is of course  giant nerd himself and revels in it, but what really sells this video for me personally is Donny Osmond completely spazzing out, which I could watch for days on end.

Ok that's it for today but I should have another post up this weekend. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Lee-Lee's Quest


How much should you be paying for a 3DS game?

One of the major flaws that has been brought up as a big reason for the 3DS not selling so hot is the seemingly high price of $40 across the board for all titles. With most mobile devices offering games for pennies many feel the $40 price tag is absolutely ridiculous, claiming 3DS games should run much lower, like in the $20-25 range/ Would this solve the issue? It might help, but I think it really needs a two-pronged approach. Premium AAA titles such as Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart, etc. Probably can justify the $40 price tag. Their production values are top notch and they offers tons of hours of playtime. But smaller or under the radar titles should be cheaper. There is no reason for me to be paying $40 for Pac-Man/Galaga Dimensions, especially when I can get those titles on my home console for half the price. As much as I enjoyed Ghost Recon, the production values on that game were terrible, it screamed budget title, yet still runs $40 brand new. The DS has a wide range of titles varying in price anywhere from $20-35, and many of the lower priced titles are of consistently good quality. There's really little reason 3DS games couldn't have similar pricing. It would give smaller profile titles a much better chance, and make the 3DS catalog a little more appealing overall. Of course at the end of the day having a wide range of quality titles will be one of the most important factors regardless of the price. Currently the 3DS has nothing close to that, and it has to change soon.

That's it for today, should have another post up tomorrow or Friday. Until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: In Time


We need an actual network for gamers....

Anybody who has actually watched G4 over the last several years know it has de-volved into a Spike/MTV wannabe with a slight nerd edge, getting rid of the majority of their personalities and programming about gaming and just replacing them with pretty models and Dane Cook wannabes. Cops 2.0 and extreme lameness like Code Monkeys & Spaceballs the animated series (which looks like it costs about $5 an episode and is written by guys not good enough to get on Mad TV). Now the argument may be that gamers don't want to watch TV about gaming when they could be playing games, but given that the recent EVO tournament had over 2 million streams (which would be a decent number of watchers for most cable shows) and the fact that each console has wide range of programming it does to promote it's product shows that their is audience for this sort of thing.

Programming wouldn't be that difficult, just transplant most of the shows already on consoles like Quore and Major's minute, throw in some classically cheesy gamer TV like Nick Arcade and Captain N, current stuff people actually watch like The Guild and Mega 64. Then throw in some obvious original programming like a review show, news show and a competition show or two and you're pretty much set.

This is actually not that different from how G4 was at the beginning, arguably it's only real weakness was lack of variety which could've easily been fixed if it had actually been given a few years to grow into its own real network rather than the awkward merger with Tech TV then quickly turning into the abomination it is today.

Ok that's all for now, this was meant to be my weekend post but I worked a lot and didn't quite have the energy to finish. There may be another post later today but Tuesday is more likely. Until then, here's your BIG BANG CLIP OF THE WEEK:


Nintendo is ignoring its biggest weapon on the 3DS...

So Nintendo has more or less admitted that the 3DS is in critical condition, but to their credit they are taking fairly drastic steps to turn it around, namely with a huge price drop and an emphasis on what looks to be a pretty strong holiday lineup with the trio of Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart and Kid Icarus Uprising.

That's a pretty good start, but I really think that Nintendo is ignoring a major aspect of its system that they have barely mentioned even though the potential applications are huge. Much like the Wii, the 3DS has a Mii system, where you can make little simple avatars or you, your friends and family or even famous faces and characters. The new hitch to this is Mii Plaza combined with the 3DS' street pass feature. Essentially you carry your 3DS with you wherever you go and odds your 3DS will contact someone else's 3DS and you'll swap Mii's to be used in the simple but surprisingly addictive Find Mii RPG. It's a fun but limited application of what this feature could really be. With the right steps this could be a huge social media tool, right up there with facebook or twitter. Add in new games to play, incentives to meet people (you already can get hats for your Mii through playing Find Mii, getting more exclusive items for your Mii through playing new games or simply meeting enough Miis would add a lot of variety to this feature). The 3DS has internet capability as well, so integrating this into something like Facebook or Twitter could make it all the more appealing.

Social Media and networking is a huge thing. We know this. Nintendo has something that can really take advantage of that fact and they are virtually ignoring it. Don't get me wrong I'll prefer a slate of really solid software over social media bullshit any day but it doesn't change the fact that tons of people do similar stuff on facebook already and if Nintendo really pushed and marketed this right it could be one of the defining selling points of the system that really helps it stand out from all the portable competition. But odds are that won't happen because if there's one thing Nintendo's really known for, it's introducing a really cool new idea and then barely even bothering to support it...

That's all for today, I should theoretically have another post up this weekend. Until then, here's your free game of the week: Penguin Overlords


Will your new games start requiring a subscription?

So we already have Xbox live, Playstation +, and other various services where basically you pay a company money to use services that should arguably be free or mostly get stuff for free you never would've payed for anyways (as much as I enjoy and tout the value of PS+, at least half the games I've downloaded for free get little to no playtime, but it's still worth it IMHO). And now EA is really getting into the whole subscription game with their EA Sports Season Ticket, which essentially allows early access to games, dlc discounts and vague "premium content", whatever that means (you know, like the tip videos & cheats EA charged you for previously that should've been free to begin with). Now, there is definitely arguable value here. DLC can cost as much or more than the initial purchase, so for somebody who wants to get all or most of it that might be worth it alone (especially since it covers all of EA Sports, not just one game).

However, I think the realistic and likely worry is this will cause a have/have not situation that may worsen if more companies go in on it. There may be only a handful of mega-publishers these days, but everyone's trying to make that cash flow for as long as possible, that's already why DLC exists, getting you to pay more for a product you've already bought. Sometimes it's great stuff to help extend and add value but almost as often it's something that seems like a cheap cash grab or something that should've been in the game in the first place. Right now its perks like early access and discounts, which if somebody wants to pay a premium for, more power to them, it's really hard to argue how that's going to affect the guy brown bagging it to work so he can keep feeding his gaming habit and can't really afford to subscribe to all these premium services. But at some point it might become more than that. Stat boosts? Extra powerful in-game items? Online access and multi-player? The ending? Sure it's a slippery slope but we already have certain games that require constant online access to work even if they don't include online play, is other seemingly mandatory content next? I'm honestly not sure. It seems unlikely, but then You'd think no one would pay money just for the ability to go online with their system when the competitors allow you to do that for free....

That's all for today, sorry for no post over the weekend, I just honestly had a pretty bad case of writer's block. I should have another post up tomorrow or Thursday. In the meantime here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK:  Tower Heist